An active youngster, Anthony Napolitan bounced between sports looking for the right fit. One of his 8th-grade football teammates – the one who rode his BMX bike to practice – invited him to a makeshift riding compound one weekend, and Anthony caught on quick. When the school year ended, he dove into riding BMX full-bore, leaving the football team in the dust.
Riding with the neighborhood crew in Youngstown, Ohio, Anthony continued to progress, but it was the opening of a nearby skatepark – Section 8 – that took his riding to the next level. He eventually met veteran Red Bull team rider Kevin Robinson, who got Anthony into Woodward Camp and onto the Hoffman Bikes team in 2005. Anthony moved to Woodward and worked hard to develop the tricks he’d need in his arsenal for the ’06 season.
He surprised everyone at round one of the Dew Tour, taking the win in Dirt. Three more podiums (including another win) on the Tour gave Anthony the highly-coveted overall Dirt title. His breakout performance earned him exclusive invites to Red Bull Elevation and the X Games, where he pocketed a bronze medal in Dirt. Over the next two years, he stacked up frontflip and 360 variations, as well as podium finishes, including the X Games Big Air bronze.
Fresh from earning the Dirt title at the BMX World Championships in Germany in July ’09, Anthony showed up at X Games with a secret banger in his trick bag. An early master of the new-school frontflip, he had unveiled several variations over the years, but he’d struggled with one that turned out to be tailor-made for the Big Air ramp. He landed the first-ever double frontflip there, cementing his reputation as a frontrunner in the progression of jumping tricks.